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How To Cull Chickens in Your Flock

Culling Or Getting Rid Of Chickens From Your Flock

So what is Culling chickens?  Well in a nutshell, culling is nothing more than “weeding out”, “getting rid of the inferior, unwanted, or over-populated” chickens out of your flock to promote better health, and production or profit.

You will find that as you raise your chickens, there will be many differences among them. This will even occur in a flock of the same breed of chickens.  You will notice that some hens don’t seem to lay as much as others, or at times you will notice some that don’t lay at all! Some members of your flock may for one reason or another not grow nearly as fast as their coop companions. When you feed hens that aren’t producing a single egg, or meat chickens that aren’t growing, you will of course find that your profitability is not what it could be because you are basically paying a lot for nothing. Here’s a few other reasons why you should “cull!”

1. Removing or culling sick or diseased members of your flock will help remove the risk of your healthy chickens catching the disease from the sick member of the flock.
2. Culling members that are not productive also will increase coop space, and increases food and water space, increasing the comfort level for the productive chickens.
3. Culling chickens will also increase the flock’s overall egg production per-hen ratio and growth rate if it is meat birds.

Those are just a few of the advantages of culling your flock.

We recently culled some roosters and even some very productive hens on Saturday at our local small animal auction. We did this strictly based on the looks of the chickens.  We breed many breeds of French Marans and Sussex breeds and want to only provide the best chicks and eggs for our customers.  If we continue to cull for color and egg color we will improve the flock for the next breeding season.  We will get rid of hens and roosters that are not quite making the color standards, both in color of feathers and for the color of eggs.  We breed our chickens to supply the Darkest chocolate brown eggs we possibly can get. We may yet cull more before fall sets in.

Just a reminder that “cull” does not necessarily mean kill the chicken. It just means “remove from the flock”.  Some people will have no problem using the culled birds for a good meal.  Others will decide it is going to have to be on somebody else’s table.  This will be the case if you have small children that have grown attached to the chickens as pets.

My feeling is I know what went into the bird for feed and my family needs fed.  Raising chickens is one step towards being self-sufficient.

While making the decision to raise chickens keep in the back of your mind that you may have to make some culling decisions from time to time.  It will happen eventually!  Culling chickens is going to be different for each individual flock owner.  It will depend greatly on what you’re keeping chickens for. If they’re strictly for eggs, cull the ones who don’t seem to lay that well. If it’s for show, cull the ones who don’t fit the breed standard. If you live in the city you may have to cull out any roosters to keep the neighbors happy or your city council. If they’re for pets, well just cull the mean ones.

I hope this article has been helpful to you as you raise a healthy productive flock of chickens.

One Response to How To Cull Chickens in Your Flock

  1. Thanks for the share!
    Nancy.R


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